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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

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Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Called to Lead. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is now available in both a paperback and Kindle edition. Read a free sample (Introduction through Chapter 2).
  • Building Your Team by Showing Dignity and Respect. Russ Gehrlein writes “I have to be intentional to ensure that every member of the team is treated like family.  I have to monitor my own relationship with each one, and also the relationships that each one has with the others on the team.  We cannot accomplish our mission without them.”
  • How Do I Discern My Calling? Chad Donohoe shares a few steps to discerning God’s calling on our lives with confidence.
  • Leadership is a Maddening Paradox. Dan Doriani, who I enjoyed two classes at Covenant Seminary with, writes “Leadership is a paradox—a ruin but finally a glory, a torment but also a privilege.”
  • How Do You Know if You Are Where God Wants You to Be? Scot Bellavia writes “If we strive for a dream job for our own sake, thinking we will only be satisfied once we’ve arrived at this “final stage” of service to God, we miss out on where he has us on the way.”
  • I’m So Busy, How Can I Rest? In responding to this question, Teena Dare writes “Limits and boundaries can free you to serve without resentment from a pure and generous heart.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Way of the Shepherd by Kevin Leman and Bill Pentak
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

  • Two Nurses, Two Pastors: A Modern Parable About Work & Worship. Matthew Kaeminak writes “Walking into a sanctuary, many workers feel like they’re visiting another world, a world quite detached from their world of work. Sitting in their pews, workers feel as if an increasingly wide chasm has opened up between the rituals they’re being asked to perform in the liturgy and the rituals they perform in their daily work.”
  • Redefining Business Leadership as “Stewardship”. Terence Chatmon writes “Business leaders who are integrating biblical principles in their lives and businesses learn that their companies exist for a greater purpose: to honor God, to create wealth, and to support the community through Christian service.”
  • Benediction – Common Good Conference 2020. Watch the benediction from Made to Flourish’s recent Common Good Conference. The benediction “encapsulated the hope of the Made to Flourish team — that you will know the work of your hands matters for your community’s flourishing and for God’s glory.”
  • Your Job Description Matters More Than You Think. John Terrill writes “The Church should enfold all of God’s people into the grand narrative of God’s redemptive work in the world. A practical next step for workplace equippers is to further secure these values into the day-to-day commitments of employers and employees. There’s no better place to start than with well-crafted job descriptions—theological instruments that channel God’s grace into the world. If we neglect this opportunity, we’ll never safely land the plane of faith, work, and economic wisdom.”
  • The Sacredness of Work. Dwight Hill “Somehow we have acquired the unfounded notion that “full-time Christian workers” have a special calling above that of a drywaller, a tailor or a financial planner. The assumption seems to be that “work” is second rate necessary toil for those who have not been “called.” I don’t think so! A study of church history will reveal that this type of split-level thinking did not enter the church until sometime in the third century.”
  • Excellence: Building Credibility for Christ. William H. Nix writes “If you are serious about transforming your workplace for Christ, then you must become committed to excellence in your work. The world of cynics and doubters is watching us. They want to believe Christ makes no difference in a life. Mediocre job performance is the standard in most workplaces. You can set yourself apart and build uncommon credibility by working the way Christ does – excellently.”
  • Working for God’s Glory. Enjoy this message from Michael Horton, delivered at the 2017 Ligonier National Conference, which had a theme of The Next 500 Years.

  • According to the Reformers, each Christian has multiple vocations. We have callings in our work. We have callings in our families. We have callings as citizens in the larger society. And we have callings in the Church. Gene Veith
  • A job is a vocation only if someone else calls you to do it for them rather than for yourself. And so, our work can be a calling only if it is reimagined as a mission of service to something beyond merely our own interests. Thinking of work mainly as a means of self-fulfillment and self-realization slowly crushes a person. Tim Keller
  • God created people to be His coworkers in expanding His kingdom on earth. He is present in the work of His children in order to meet the needs of humankind and bring glory to Himself. Russ Gehrlein
  • In all our work, we strive to bring credit to God’s name. Dan Doriani
  • Productivity is effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God. Tim Challies
  • Your work is your mission field, and because of that, there is a God-given dignity in what you do. Bryan Chapell
  • We want big results – sooner rather than later. And we’ve forgotten that God showers his extraordinary gifts through ordinary means of grace, loves us through ordinary fellow image bearers, and sends us into the world to love and serve others in ordinary callings. Michael Horton
  • One of the best forms of generosity in our work is excellence. Excellence matters not only because it is right and exciting in itself, but even more significantly because it is a way of serving people. Matt Perman
  • Sometimes a calling is staring us in the face, we just need to make eye contact. John Mark Comer

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

The Way of the Shepherd by Kevin Leman and Bill Pentak. Zondervan. 2009. 129 pages. 
***

This short book is written as a leadership fable, similar to those written by Patrick Lencioni, Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. We meet Mr. Pentak, who is a cub reporter for the Texas Star newspaper. He requests an interview with Theodore “Ted” McBride, the most respected business leader in America, having led General Technologies to seventeen years of unprecedented success during his ongoing reign as CEO. Amazingly, McBride agrees to Mr. Pentak’s request for an interview. But why would he do so?
In the interview, McBride shares with the reporter the seven greatest management principles which have led to his success and the success of General Technologies. McBride proceeds to tells Mr. Pentak about Dr. Jack Neumann, his mentor and a professor who had taught one of his MBA program courses forty-five years earlier. Knowing that Ted was going to be supervising nine people in his new position at General Technologies after completing his Master’s program, and that he had no idea how to lead effectively, Dr. Neumann agreed to teach Ted the seven principles, or the Way of the Shepherd, as they met on Saturdays leading up to Ted’s graduation.
What can leaders learn from how a shepherd leads their sheep? Quite a lot actually. The seven principles that make up the Way of the Shepherd are:
1. Know the Condition of Your Flock
2. Discover the Shape of Your Sheep
3. Help Your Sheep Identify with You
4. Make Your Pasture a Safe Place
5. The Staff of Direction
6. The Rod of Correction
7. The Heart of the Shepherd
Leading like a shepherd is much like servant leadership, in that it teaches leaders how to lead so that others will want to follow them.
Dr. Neumann told Ted forty-five years ago to put into practice what he learned from him, and to pass it on to others along the way. Ted indicates that he has tried to live up to that promise every day since. We find out that he gave Mr. Pentak the interview so that he could spread the word about the Way of the Shepherd.
The Way of the Shepherd is a quick-read, and teaches principles that will align with servant leadership.

Faith and Work Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life by Os Guinness is the best book on calling for the Christian that I have read. The first time I read it was in Dr. Douglass’s wonderful “Spiritual and Ministry Formation” class at Covenant Seminary in 2013. In 2018, on the 20th anniversary of the book, Guinness published a revised and updated edition.

This week we look at Chapter 29: The Hour Has Come. Here are a few takeaways from the chapter:

  • Calling is an essential part of the sense of timing that characterizes a successful life.
  • A sense of timing was central to Jesus’ sense of calling.
  • Calling is a matter of relying on God.
  • Calling is a matter of renouncing inadequate methods for achieving timeliness.
  • Readiness for followers of Christ is obedience honed to the highest level of responsiveness.
  • God calls men and women who will be committed to their life tasks with no reservations, no retreats, no regrets.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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